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Why So Many Caves?
Written by: Sam Shipp
A cave in the indie game Minecraft
            I was recently playing Dragon Age: Origins and realized something.  Game developers are obsessed with caves. In almost every game, there is some mention of caves.  In everything from a boss’s hideout to a place where treasure is hidden, there is always a cave. 
My question is why?  Why?  Some people don’t even like caves.  I hate going into caves in video games.  Caves are usually small, cramped spaces.  You know when you enter a cave, you are going to spend hours inside.  But, when you finally get to the end of the cave, you realize that you did not need to go into the cave in the first place.
I know.  Some of you guys are thinking that caves are there for the sake of exploration.  But why do we need to explore underground?  I would much rather be above ground when I explore.  Everywhere that you go in caves looks exactly the same.  The most variation that you can have would be a different color of rock or lava. I am sorry, but I really don’t care. 
I mean there is not a game that I can think of where a player does not go into a cave.  Red Dead Redemption, Modern Warfare 2 and Need for Speed: Shift all have at least one section where you have to go through caves.  But the worst of all is RPG’s.  I do not know one RPG where you don’t spend at least three hours inside a dark, cramped cavern.  I actually think it is a law that all RPGs have to have caves.
Okay, instead of doing caves, do something else.  They could have us explore oceans, outer space, and deserts, anything but caves!  I mean really.
Leave your comments in the section below or on the forum and tell me what you think about caves in video games.  What should game developers do differently?

2 Responses so far.

  1. Evan says:

    Developers like caves because they are easy to program. They don't have to make a giant area, and can restrict your path in a linear direction. Also, it adds some realism, monsters/evil people/whatever may hide in caves.
    It is possible, however, to make unique/alien caves if the developers try hard enough.

  2. AK says:

    Its go time.

    GTA IV
    Dead Space (1)
    Burnout Revenge
    Prototype
    Bioshock
    Mirror's Edge
    HAWX
    Silent Hill 2
    Left 4 Dead 2
    Splinter Cell Conviction
    Spider Man 2
    Dead Rising

    Also the Rat Hole level in COD: Black Ops was the best part, so caves aren't all bad.

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